A letter to the horn-happy hunters

Dear Dawie Groenewald and your gay brother, Janneman. Sorry, Janneman. Maybe you aren’t gay. But what the hell kind of name is Janneman? It’s fucked up, that’s what it is. You got the good name, Dawie, no doubt about it. A real South African name. The kind of name you want to have if you’re going to grow up and rip people off and kill rhinos and cause all sorts of shit. Janneman probably mixes the martinis while you’re out there hacking the horns off. I hope you don’t split the money. Although I must say it’s a helluva lot harder to mix the perfect martini than it is to shoot a drugged rhino from nine metres. So you hunt in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and right here in South Africa. Your farm, Prachtig, is 60kms south of Musina in Limpopo Province. I’m just pointing this out for the benefit of hunters and not so that normal people can find out where you live and burn your house down. The US government has charged your ass with conspiracy to sell illegal rhino hunts to American hunters, money laundering and secretly trafficking in rhino horns. That’s some pretty badass shit, my bru. An 18-count indictment. Sounds heavy. Of course, that means shit out here. Get the right lawyer and the right judge and you’re home in time for sundowners. In America, I reckon it might mean something else. Americans aren’t big on mercy. They want to nail your ass. And if they can’t, they will grab someone else’s ass and find a way to call it yours. That’s where you went wrong. You were so focused on rhino horns that you forgot to lay a false trail for the Feds. It happens to the best of us. The only reason I heard about you was because I bought a local paper that had used an AFP story out of Washington and noticed the headline, “US charges SA duo over illegal rhino hunts.” It was a small piece buried on page seven, which means that, at most, nine people know about what you and your brother have been up to. You’re safe. Fourteen million people know what Jacob Zuma and his handlangers are up to, and we don’t really give a damn. I’m going to be frank, bru. You blew it. But you blew it right from the start. If you’re going to be helping Americans kill rhinos with the express intention of fucking them over (the Americans – the rhinos are already fucked), then you shouldn’t have called yourself Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris. It’s a ridiculous name. You obviously saw the movie with Robert Redford and Meryl whatshername. But if you’d read the book, which you wouldn’t have done because I would willingly have my left leg chopped off if it could be shown that you and Janneman had read anything more complicated than the K53 driver’s license manual … where was I? Anyway. I checked out your website. It’s like a wet dream for people like Oscar Pistorius, although not really because wildebeest will hardly ever break into your toilet. “Bring a bolt action or a double rifle (muzzleloaders are welcome). For Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant, a minimum calibre of 375 is required. All calibres bigger than this are welcome. For Lions, Leopard, Antelopes and other medium game a calibre of 300 or 30-06 will be sufficient. For dangerous game, 40 full metal-jacket cartridges as well as 40 soft-point cartridges are required. For medium game you will need at least 80 soft-point cartridges. Fit your rifle with a good quality scope with variable power; 1.5-6 x 42, 2.2-9 x 42 or the like. For transportation of your rifle between hunting areas, a soft case per gun is required.” You don’t regard lions and leopards as dangerous game? I suppose if they’re on anti-depressants, I guess they ain’t that dangerous. You’re asking $25 500 for a ten-day buffalo and sable hunt? That’s insane. I can go to a game auction and pay less for a buffalo and a flock of sable and put them in the back of my car. Take them home and scatter them about my yard. Your price for a three-day “rhino darting safari” starts at $10 000 per hunter. That’s, like, R100 000. It seems a bit fucking steep to play darts with a rhino. Still and all. You’re a high stakes, classy outfit, even offering “green” hunts that involve the more sensitive hunter firing a tranquiliser into the rhino and then letting him pose with the sedated animal for a tastefully lit photograph. After which you send him to the bar for a gin and tonic while a sweaty brute hacks the horn off and you ship it to Hanoi a day or two later. But to get back to your price list. To gun down a lechwe in Mpumalanga costs a mere $3 950. Lechwe, and I mean no disrespect to lechwe, are lazy. If there were traffic lights in the bush, lechwe would be the first to hang around waiting for a handout. Shooting them is probably doing them a favour. I only hope their families get some of the money. What else do you have on your menu? A baboon in Limpopo goes for $200. Really? I know baboons who will sell their young for a quarter of the price. And a bushpig for $600 is just silly. You can sit in your car with a beer between your legs and a carrot in your hand and a bushpig will walk right up to you. If he could talk, he would say, “Six hundred dollars? You’ve been had. I’m a pig who lives in the bush. I wouldn’t pay twenty dollars for me. Anyway. At least let me eat the carrot. Then you can blow my brains out.” I don’t know, Dawie, but $3 800 for a giraffe seems unreasonable. It sticks its head into your rondavel looking for an apple and you put your 9mm against its temple and pull the trigger. You don’t even have to get out of bed. I’m not saying it’s unsporting, but in terms of effort versus expenditure, there’s a bit of a gap. Your price of $350 for a porcupine strikes me as fair. These little fuckers walk about as if they own the place, but the moment you pick him up to put him on the barbecue he shoots a million quills into your face. Fuck him. Zebra seems a tad overpriced at $1800. They’re just gay horses, really. And they know it, too. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them that stripes went out in the 80s, they just love to be stroked and admired. And when it comes time to kill them, they prefer it to be done at sunset with a crossbow. While Frank Sinatra plays in the background. You might have to explain to your zebra that the real Frank Sinatra wasn’t available. Don’t tell him that Frank is dead because he will probably kill himself, which will deprive everyone of an income. I was intrigued by your list of supplies that you recommend clients bring with them. Two pairs of hunting trousers? What the hell are hunting trousers? Two pairs I can understand, because one might soil the first pair should an impala spring unannounced from the bush. A pair of gloves I can understand. You are, after all, running a criminal enterprise and the last thing you want is the FBI lifting a clean set of prints off a warthog gunned down under suspicious circumstances. I am, I must say, mystified by your requirement of “1 razor with blades or batteries”. Is this to shave a dead animal? Kudu can be hairy, yes, but why would that offend you? And if not for the animals, do you prefer your hunters to be clean-shaven? Perhaps Janneman insists upon it. I know a lot of men who have had bad experiences with scratchy beards. Actually, that’s not true. I just don’t want Janneman to feel like he’s some sort of freak. The last thing we want is Janneman building a nuclear weapon, right, Dawie? LOL. So you pulled the wool over the South African police’s eyes for all these years. I expect it wasn’t that difficult. But now you’ve discovered that the US Fish and Wildlife Service are/is bit brighter than our boys and girls. America wants to extradite you. Nou is julle in die kak. Although not necessarily. It depends on who you know in the government. Do you know people in the government? Of course you do. You wouldn’t have got yourselves this deep in the shit if you didn’t. Can they get you out? Maybe. Your biggest mistake was ripping off the Yanks. They don’t care if other nationalities get fucked over, but don’t mess with a US citizen, even if he is a brain-damaged intra-bred redneck from, well, he could be from anywhere. “Good shot, Tex!” “So ya’ll gonna wrap up my horn or what?” “No can do, Tex. You aren’t allowed to take rhino horn out of the country. But you can take a picture of it!” Tex goes home and the horn goes to Vietnam. Everyone’s happy. Except the rhino. You found a loophole there, Dawie. But you forgot one thing. Never bullshit an American who carries a gun. He’s either gonna kill you, fuck you or take you to court. You fucked with the wrong people, Dawie. You can’t charge for the hunt and then sell the horns on the sly. If there’s one thing Americans hate, it’s double dipping. Alabama’s US Attorney, George Beck, said: “Not only did they break South African laws, but they laundered their ill-gotten gains through our banks here in Alabama. Jesus, bro. You could’ve gotten away with poaching rhino and ripping off Americans. You could’ve got away with almost anything. But did nobody ever tell you not to fuck with the banks of Alabama? Did you think you’d be alright because you’re white? Those days are over, my friend. Say howzit to Oscar.

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15 thoughts on “A letter to the horn-happy hunters

  1. We are doing our best to embarrass Safari Club International in the States. After all- this big trophy hunter cesspool starts with SCI.

  2. Excellent yet again. The yanks would definitely take care of these scum bags in a way they deserve for sure. What a pity the NPA have said they won’t consider extradition until the local investigations & case is completed & we are what…………3/4 years down the line & the case is still being postponed every time it comes to court?? Our SA justice system & time lines are a joke!!

  3. Ben Trovato, please do not understand me wrong I am not to defending Dawie or Janneman they will get what is coming to them but, I just want to point out that your Americans isn’t the brightest tool’s in the shed if they had been dooped for so long by these to brothers and if I remember correctly it was the SA Police that arrested them and now several months or year’s later the US also wants a piece of them.

    Yes, it is horrific that they have gotten away with this for so long but if you’re Americans wasn’t so blood thirsty and trigger happy they might have been able to see what is happening right in front of them.

    It sounds to me that you are more upset that Americans have been dooped and not allowed to take their trophy’s home than the senseless slaughter of endangered species just for the fun of it, because the American Big Game Hunters wants to show off in front of his family and friends what ‘n BIG MAN/WOMEN they are with a BIG GUN!

    So way don’t you take-on your fellow trigger happy and blood thirsty Americans who are trying to proof that they are so great and fearless hunters? They most definitely know that the lion who’s head is hanging in their trophy room was raised by hand and petted as a cub when he shot it at short range while walking up to the vehicle thinking it is going to get a piece of meat. No, they didn’t care because the people at home (America) will not know the whole story. He will tell a tall tail that sounds more than one of Wilber Smith’s novels.

    Regards

    Maryke SA

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